15:00 16:30

Hybrid event (presential / zoom)

Learning to see the global hibakusha hidden in the Cold War’s shadows

Room : Salle G009, rez-de-chaussée, 28 rue des Saints-Pères 75007

Organised as part of the seminar Nuclear Knowledges
Robert Jacobs is a Professor of History at the Hiroshima Peace Institute and the Graduate School of Peace Studies of Hiroshima City University. He is a historian of science and technology focused on nuclear technologies and radiation technopolitics. His book, Nuclear Bodies: The Global Hibakusha (Yale 2022), presents over a decade of field research conducted in more than 20 countries on the effects of radiation exposures to individuals and communities from nuclear weapon testing, production and accidents, globally. He has published and edited multiple books and articles on nuclear history and culture. In a previous life he was a chef and worked in the organic produce industry.
In the fall of 1961, President Kennedy somberly warned Americans about deadly radioactive fallout clouds extending hundreds of miles from H‑bomb detonations, yet he approved ninety‑six US nuclear weapon tests for 1962. Since the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima & Nagasaki there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests; we envision the Cold War as a period in which nuclear weapons were not used when in fact statistically there was a nuclear detonation every 8.6 days between 1950-1989. Millions of people lived downwind from those nuclear tests, and thermonuclear tests raised radioactive fallout into the troposphere and stratosphere which eventuated in global distribution of radionuclides. Millions more lived near nuclear production sites, or accident sites like Chernobyl and Fukushima. These are the “global hibakusha.” This lecture will weave these seemingly distinct legacies into an imbricated global history, examining the colonialism(s) with which nuclear weapon states "select the irradiated," the political use of medical models to render their harm invisible, and the millennia-long legacies of our embrace of nuclear technologies and their legacy wastes. 

Scientifics Coordinators : Benoît Pelopidas, Sciences Po-CERI and Sanne Verschuren, Sciences Po-CERI

If you wish to follow the event via zoom, please register with the link below :

If you wish to follow the event in presentia, please register with the link below :

Organisé par : CERI